On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

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Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Albatrossity.

In mid-February I made a trip to far western KS to look for Golden Eagles and Ferruginous Hawks near a large prairie-dog colony in Logan County. That site also hosts the endangered Black-footed Ferret, but unless you go out at night you usually will not encounter those.

Eagles and Ferruginous Hawks were seen, but none wanted to sit for a portrait session. I did get some other images.

Rough-legged Hawk, adult female

Taken on 2018-02-16

Found this beauty at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk, western (calurus) subspecies

Taken on 2018-02-16

Winter hawks in Kansas often include these western birds, who migrate here from Utah or Colorado or New Mexico. The rufous cast on the underwings and belly is the key field mark for this subspecies

Sandhill Cranes

Taken on 2018-02-16

Heading north to the Platte River in Nebraska, then further north to Canada, Alaska, and eastern Siberia.


Taken on 2018-02-17

This landscape has a lot of horizontal layers, but it is not flat. That prairie-dog was also looking for eagles and hawks, probably with a lot more self-interest than I was


Thank you so much Albatrossity, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


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27 replies
  1. 1
    Spanky says:

    Great pics! Our Eclipse Trip back in August was to North Platte and the Sand HIlls, an excellent trip that I would hope to do again some day. Our pics don’t do it justice, and of course I didn’t get wildlife pics nearly as good as these.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    Look at the claws!

  3. 3
    otmar says:

    Very impressive pictures.

  4. 4
    Quinerly says:

    Wonderful pictures!

  5. 5
    Mary G says:

    So excited to see Albatrossity pictures again. Love the sandhill cranes. (Autocorrect tried to change that to landfill – WTF?)

  6. 6

    Good pics, birds in flight are hard to shoot.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    When I see the name “Albatrossity”, I just get happy, because great bird pictures await. Love these.

    The raptors make me glad I am not a very small mammal.

  8. 8
    Barbara says:

    These are amazing.

  9. 9
    arrieve says:

    Wonderful pictures — it’s so hard to do justice to birds but you do. The sandhill crane shot is just beautiful.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    Wonderful photos! Sandhill cranes are one of my favorite birds, and it amazes me that the same tall, elegant cranes I frequently meet on sunny golf courses or wooded meadows here in Florida also live in Siberia!

    I took a cross-country road trip back in the 90s. On Route 66, out in the middle of no where, I saw prairie dogs in a field. Charmed, I wanted to capture a photo of the darling critters. Well, every time I clicked the shutter, the little bastards disappeared into their holes.

    This was back before I had a digital camera, so I had to wait until I developed the film to confirm that, yep, I didn’t manage to photograph even a nose or whisker of a prairie dog, but I had a dozen or so pictures of an empty field with holes in it.

    Luckily for us all, Albatrossity is a much more skilled photographer!

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I wanted to head to the Platte this spring for the Sandhill Crane migration but then the youngest got run over and priorities changed.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    Love all the photos, but especially that last one. Having lived only amid buildings, that landscape is awesome!

  13. 13
    debbie says:


    Is your son recovering well?

  14. 14
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: I feel the same way! Albatrossity is such a great photographer of wildlife, especially birds.
    Thanks Albatrossity!

    @OzarkHillbilly: how’s he doing?

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    The bird pictures are fabulous

  16. 16
    raven says:

    We were sea kayaking off Orcas Island and the guide said “if you look directly at the sea otters they will dive under water but if you look at them out of the corner of your eye they will stay up”. Damn if they didn’t.

    When googling otters I got this!

    Wild Otter Attacks 77-Year-Old Woman Kayaking on Florida River

    A possibly rabid otter attacked a group of kayakers in central Florida, biting and scratching a 77-year-old woman and ripping off part of her ear.

    The boaters were paddling up the Braden River Sunday, enjoying a peaceful and sunny morning when a wild otter jumped on the kayak of Sue Spector, ran up her back and began clawing at her face, guide Marsha Wikle told InsideEdition.com.

    “She was in the water, her husband was in the water and two other women were whacking the otter with their paddles,” Wikle said of the chaotic scene.

  17. 17
    No Drought No More says:

    The democratic party could use a few good religious loons of its own to rally the simple minded: “God blessed California’s north Bay Area with a gentle rain overnight, a sure sign that Governor Brown’s righteous rebuke of a wicked man and his corrupt designs was well received”

  18. 18
    Waratah says:

    I am not surprised to see that I am not the only to get excited to see your name for the coming photos.
    Your photos of the raptors show their beauty. I could almost hear the sound the cranes make flying over.

  19. 19
    MomSense says:

    These photos are so cool.

  20. 20
    cgordon says:

    Sandhill cranes winter along the Rio Grande, and early spring they group up to fly north, riding thermals until they are way up high. Even then you can hear them croaking like the hinges of a huge door. Amazing birds.

  21. 21
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Nice pictures!

    Is a Jayhawk an actual thing to see while in Kansas? I wonder if all of those birds of prey like Kansas with all of the flat, wide open and rodent infested landscapes.

  22. 22
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @raven: I saw a sea otter floating by our tour boat off the Alaska coast. He looked happy as a clam.

    I imagine an encounter with an otter or similar critter With No Fucks Left To Give would not be pleasant. I hope she did not end up with rabies or an infection (didn’t click on the link).

  23. 23
    eclare says:

    Wonderful photographs!

  24. 24
    Schlemazel says:

    I love raptors & those are a couple of great shots! Thanks

  25. 25
    stinger says:

    Wonderful photos!

  26. 26
    Mohagan says:

    Thanks for the great photos! All of them are wonderful.

  27. 27
    Albatrossity says:

    Thanks, all. I do have more raptor pics to share in the future, since yes, Kansas has lots of wintering hawks, even though we do not have nearly enough prairie dogs! But Jayhawks are, alas, a mythical bird.

    Betty,I am currently in your home state, doing some birdwatching and photography in the Tampa/St. Pete area while my sweetie attends a conference in Tampa. I think I got the better of that deal. Lots of things to see, including a bazillion Ospreys this morning at Ft. DeSoto State Park. Still need to find a Roseate Spoonbill and/or a Swallow-tailed Kite, but have seen lots of shorebirds, gulls, terns, and herons so far. Florida, like Kansas, is a lovely state as long as you can ignore the politics!

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